Friday, September 23, 2016

What Looks Bad Sometimes is Good

The picture above is of a horse I met on my 40-mile bike-ride yesterday. He was very friendly and we had a nice chat about how lucky he was to live right along the bike path. I had the whole day before me since my son and daughter-in-law had to earn a living. I would see them for dinner. In the mean time, I met the sweet horse and got to bike for four hours. There is not much more fun on earth than that!

This is me at the turn-around point, twenty miles out. It was REALLY hard not to keep going further...but it is difficult to gauge when one is half-tired, and if one is MORE than half-tired when one turns back, one will not make it home. I didn't think I was half-tired yet, but decided it might be wise to turn around any way.

So reluctantly, I  turned around. I stopped for lunch at a beautiful park, and finished off my leftover salad from the night before. For the record, salad does not quite cover the caloric needs of a 40-mile bike ride. I could have used an extra double-decker hot fudge brownie icecream sundae...but that was not in my bike pack.

Look the air above me as I pedaled onward home after my very low calorie lunch: vultures. There were six or seven of them, following and circling above me. This is at the mile 33 mark, and at this point, I realized maybe I WAS more than half-tired at the turn around point. The vultures seemed to think so too.

 Fortunately, most of the end route was downhill, and soon I was back in downtown Richmond with the Lucky Strike chimney of Tobacco Row guiding me back to my hotel.

It was an exquisitely beautiful ride, and I hope to return and do the entire 52- mile Richmond to Williamsburg route one day.

I returned to my hotel room, which had not been cleaned. Really? It was 2 pm, I'd been gone all morning, and it still wasn't cleaned? I shrugged that off, since I was pretty pooped and eager for a warm shower. I cannot have a hot shower because of my newly radiated skin. The doctor said warm is ok. Hot will hurt my skin. Guess what? The shower ONLY came out hot. That would have been but a small problem, except the bathtub wouldn't drain so I was standing in my sweaty, 40-miles of ick washed off hot water.

The remote didn't work, which I'd known the night before. The heat/cooling register didn't work properly either. Half the night I was shivering in arctic cold, and when I tried to set it just a few degrees to 68 degrees, the dusty smelling heat came on!  I was willing to overlook those things initially because of the gorgeous view of the James River out my tenth floor window.  But now, I called the front desk and listed the litany of issues. I was starting to feel sorry for myself.

"Would you like a new room?" the nice man at the front desk asked.

"Will it have as beautiful a view of the James River?"


"Then YES!"

This is the view from my new hotel room at the exclusive 'club level' that requires a special card in the elevator to even allow you on that floor.

I was shocked to be given a card that gave me access to ride the elevator to the exclusive 'club' level. Then I entered my room. On the bed was a special packet that said, 'Just for You.'  It was essential oil blends that would help me relax and sleep like a rich person with no worries.

Instead of just a bottle of 'every day shampoo' which is all I had received in my lower level room, my shampoo now now accompanied by 'la la lagoon bath gel.'  On the table by my recliner was a fancy ice bucket. The 'club' level is clearly the place to be.

I think this definitely called for putting on my new cowboy boots.

God was reminding me of a VERY important truth. Sometimes, your world looks like it is falling apart. All the things that are supposed to be happening are not, and you are getting tired, and disappointment sets in with an oppressive heaviness that saps all the joy out of you. Why does everything always go wrong????

And then, all those seemingly terrible things end up promoting some sort of change that puts you in a far better place than you could otherwise have ever dreamed of.

What looks bad is sometimes good. Trust that God sees the bigger picture and the time line stretching far beyond the present circumstances. He could be setting you up for the 'club' level.

and lovely dinner with my son...

Genesis 50: 19-21

But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. “So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.